Category Archives: Random

Top Ten Tuesday (51) and New Years Blogging Resolutions Survey

Top Ten Tuesday Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish.  Each week a new top ten list is posted, and to participate all you have to do is fill in YOUR top ten for the list.

This week the topic is:

Top Ten Blogging/Reading Resolutions

1. Read more: I didn’t get to read a whole lot this past year, but I do want to read more this year.  I am only setting my goal for fifty, which for you super readers out there is a teensy amount, but I am hoping that maybe I can get more in than that.  Life just gets in the way of reading!  XD

2. Improvements on the blog:  I want to make more improvements on my blog and I was even debating on self hosting.  I want more meaningful content and I want my blog to be a favorite for the bloggers who follow me.

3. Stop (or at least lessen) procrastination: I am horrible about procrastination!  I mean really, really bad.  I am behind putting my reviews on other sites and such because of it.  My office is a disaster because of it, and half my house is still not unpacked yet even though I have been there a year and a half because of it.  So I need to jump on the ball with getting posts done in advance so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

4. Comment more: I love getting comments, and I know other bloggers love receiving them, so I need to show more love to the bloggers out there.  My biggest difficulty with this is that I work during peak commenting times and when I get home, it is hard to want to do anything else other than be lazy after a long day at work.

5. Learn more: I have been blogging here now for 2.5 years and I do not know anywhere near as much as I probably should for someone who has been doing it for this long.  I see some of these blogs and I want to know how to do things I see on others’ pages.  It is pretty funny when I do figure out how to do something because it is such a huge accomplishment for me and I feel so proud of myself, even though it is probably something small for others.

6. Notebooks: For a while I was doing good at keeping up with a notebook for jotting notes about the books I was reading, then it got misplaced, and I haven’t worked with it since it was misplaced.  Since I finally found it again I would like to start putting notes, including quotes because I need to get better with noting quotes, into the notebook again.  I also need to improve my note taking skills, because I noticed when I first started the notebook, I wanted to write down notes on every little thing, which I have no time for.  So I need to be more efficient in my note taking.

7. Plan ahead: I am horrible about trying to write my posts the day before or the morning of when said post is supposed to be up.  I really need to work on scheduling my posts ahead and planning my posts ahead.  This would also help my procrastination issues.

8. Review requests: I hate having to turn down so many writers when it comes to review requests, but I just don’t have the time to take on too many currently.  If my partnering works out, then I will have a second pair of eyes I could share the load with and get to take in more requests.  So I am hoping I will be able to do that this year.

9. Challenges: I want to actually complete all my challenges I pick this year.  My first year of challenges I did well and met all of them, this past year however, I crashed and burned.  So, I want to make sure I complete them this time!

10. Organization: Also links in with planning ahead.  I will do good on my organization for a week, then something happens (usually procrastination) and I fall behind on the organization.  I have a day planner where I try to plan out my posts and go ahead and write down which covers I want for Cover Crush, what choices for my TTT and WoW posts, etc, but…well, like my notebook, it was misplaced (I am good at losing things thanks to a horrible memory).  I have a dedicated tote that I need to repack with my blogger and writing stuff again and make sure I keep it with me.  When we moved my boyfriend in, my tote was moved and I just recently uncovered it (he likes to move my things and doesn’t remember what he does with them).  I also want to get my desk organized so I have an actual place to work.  I love my desk, it’s a beautiful roll top 🙂 and I want to actually do my writing at it.

Also I found this great New Year Blogging Resolution Survey from Chiara over at Books for a Delicate Eternity that I want to do since it involves resolutions as well!

New Year Resolutions

Reading

I will read more books (in a genre, for review, for yourself etc):

I read lots of books for myself, but I am going to try to get more in that are requests or ones that I have requested.  I feel really bad that I am not able to do but a very small select few that I get requests from, so I would like to do better on that.

I will try reading (a certain genre, a certain book, a series etc):

Maybe a little more sci-fi.  I’m not big on reading sci-fi, but there are a lot of books that people go on about in this genre that I would like to check out.  Mostly I read contemporary and paranormal/fantasy.

I will finish (a book, a series etc):

My challenges.  I massively failed on that aspect this past year, and I don’t want to do it again this year.

I will start (you get the gist, yeah?):

Both Cassanda Clare series!  I feel like such a dweeb for not having read them yet, and I don’t want to be left out of the loop anymore!

I will not read:

Anything that doesn’t get my interest.  I read for myself and let others know how I feel about the books and my opinions on what I read, but I am not going to force myself to read something I don’t actually want to.  If I do that, then it won’t be as enjoyable.

I will read:

Whatever I am in the mood to read.  I am definitely a mood reader, which is why I can’t schedule out books like some bloggers can because next week I might want to read a thriller or something that will make me cry.  I don’t know until it is time to pick my next book.

Posting

I will try to post:

As often as possible, which will differ depending on how my schedule is.

I will post more:

Discussions.  I like discussion posts and seeing people’s opinions, but I have a hard time thinking of stuff to talk about, honestly, so I haven’t done many.

I will post fewer:

I am a blogger.  Posting fewer of something isn’t in the rules for me.  I don’t post a lot of meaningless garble (at least I hope I don’t) and I enjoy everything that I post, all reviews, all memes, etc.

If I do not post:

I am probably utterly swamped, but I will post again as soon as I can.  If I know I won’t post for a little while because something has come up, then I will announce it.  Work and family come first, so I have to tend to those before I can do my blog stuff.

Visiting

I will visit blogs:

As often as I can.  I love seeing everybody’s blogs and reading their posts and discussing things with the wonderful bloggers out there.

I will comment on more:

Reviews and discussions.  I love reading both of these kinds of posts and I would like to be more involved in them and debating opinions with people.

I will comment on fewer:

Fewer comments? No way!  I love comments and I know other bloggers do, too, so why would I want to do it less?

I will return the comment favour as much as I can:

Of course! I love getting comments and I know others do as well, so why not?

I will try and visit and comment on  ____ blogs:

All of them.  I know that is pretty impossible because I follow so many, but I will try my darndest.  I do have favorites that I comment on pretty often, but I also need to share the love with the others I follow, too.

I will not post comments that are:

Pointless.  I want my comments to actually have a purpose and be meaningful with what the post says.  I know I’ve received comments before that make me look at the screen weird, quirk and eyebrow and think “okay? and the point is??” and I don’t want people to think that of my comments.

I will post comments that are:

The exact opposite of the above.  I want to have meaningful comments.  Comments that make people nod there head in agreement at the screen, or comment back because it is worth answering, or high five me on my soap box moments.

So, there you have it!  My New Year’s Resolutions for my blogging.  What kind of resolutions have you guys made?

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2013 End of the Year Survey!

2013 End of Year Book Survey

Yay for book surveys!  This year wasn’t nearly as productive reading wise as last year since I have been so busy and dealing with some big changes at home, but I still wanted to do this fun survey from Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner!  Between NaNo and the holidays, I’ve had nearly squat read the past two months and I feel horrible for it XD.  I have 3 books I am halfway through that I want to try to finish in the last 4 days of the year; we’ll see what happens….   Anyway, on the the survey!

Best Books 2013 Banner

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

I am definitely going to have to cheat for this one because it just isn’t possible to pick only one!

Contemporary – Fangirl, The Fault in Our Stars, and On the Jellicoe Road : All of these books were super wonderful and I love them all for different reasons.  Fangirl had the most real and relatable characters, The Fault in Our Stars made me cry and I hated and loved the book for it, and Jellicoe Road was beautiful and heart breaking and I wanted to just hug the book when I was done.

Dystopian – Catching Fire : This is my favorite book from this trilogy and I was so happy with the movie, too.

Sci-fi – Scarlet :  This one is easy because this is one of my all time favorite series so far and the characters, the story, everything is just amazing about it!

Fantasy – Days of Blood and Starlight and Asunder : Both of these were fabulous!  The writing was great in both and the stories were awesome and I can’t wait to finish both trilogies next year!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Requiem is a definite!  I was expecting so much more, but by the end, I kind of wanted to throw the audio discs out the window of my car. Also, The Vampire Diaries; I love the T.V. show, but honestly, it is nothing like the book.  I like the show much better!

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

I think I would have to say I Hunt Killers for this one.  It sounded good and interesting, but it was so much better than I expected it to be and I am looking forward to reading the next one!  Teardrop was a second one that I was really surprised by how much I liked it since I wasn’t crazy about the Fallen series.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

For this one, I would say On the Jellicoe Road.  This book was ridiculously wonderful!  Like I said earlier, I wanted to hug it when I was done.  This was one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

I started 3 new series, but I have only read the first books of them since two of them only have the first book out and the other I just haven’t picked up the next book yet.  They were I Hunt Killers, Teardrop and Ink.  Ink is a really great read and I loved the imagery in it, so I am very excited for the next one, and I’ve already mentioned the other two.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Definitely Rainbow Rowell!  Her  characters and writing style are incredible and realistic.  I loved everything about Fangirl and am really looking forward to the rest of her books.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I guess you could say “out of my comfort zone” was The Fault in Our Stars since it was a cancer book.  I had never read a cancer book before, but it wasn’t just a cancer book because there was so, so much more to it.  I am glad other bloggers convinced me to read it.  Another one was Darkfever, which is an adult romance, which I almost never read, but a friend of mine convinced me to since she loved it so much.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I Hunt Killer was pretty thrilling and I didn’t want to stop reading it at all.  It was very exciting and not what I expected and I was disappointed I didn’t have the second book yet.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Definitely Scarlet.  I don’t really re-read books since there are so many books in my TBR already, but I suprised myself by re-reading Cinder before Scarlet came out, so I will be re-reading Scarlet before Cress.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Asunder CoverTeardrop Cover

This was just to hard to pick one, so I chose my top two.  Both of these covers are super beautiful and tops favorites of all my reads in general.

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Allyson from Just One Day is a memorable one because of how much she changes over the course of her book.  She is so much different by the end than when she starts out.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Do I have to mention how beautiful and heartbreaking On the Jellicoe Road is again?

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

Again, On the Jellicoe Road, because this story is so beautiful, I have wanted to challenge myself to write a beautiful story as well that I would love to have other people want to hug like I want to hug Jellicoe.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

The Titan’s Curse because I read the first two in a few months of each other, but why in the world did I wait TWO YEARS to finish this series??

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“You love me. Real or not real?”
I tell him, “Real.”

I am team Peeta all the way and I love this quote from Mockingjay and I want one of the lovely necklaces I see with this quote on it!

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest was Days of Blood and Starlight at 513 pages.  This was a great sequel and I want the third right now.

Shortest was Two Boys Kissing at 208 pages.  This book was so great!  Definitely more power in it than 208 pages worth.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Mockingjay.  That’s all I’m saying.  Those of you who have read it know what I mean.  And the movies are going to be so hard to watch.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Both romantic and friendships:

Katniss & Peeta
Scarlet & Wolf
Zuzana & Karou
Percy, Annabeth & Grover
Levi & Cath

Again hard to pick just one.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Lola and the Boy Next Door and Asunder.  Both of these authors are great in different ways and I love the both of them.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Again…Jellicoe Road.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Fantasy BARELY beat contemporary.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Wolf from Scarlet – Duh
Ziri from Days of Blood and Starlight – I really love this guy!

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Definitely Ink by Amanda Sun.  I really enjoyed it and the imagery was wonderful.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Days of Blood and Starlight and Ink.  The details of the worlds in both of these books were great and I really love the descriptions of the chimaera in DoBS.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Lola and the Boy Next Door was really fun to read.  Both Lola and Cricket are quirky and interesting characters and fun to read about.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

The Fault in Our Stars
On the Jellicoe Road
Two Boys Kissing

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Two Boys Kissing – At least in my area, this book definitely didn’t receive enough attention like it should have.  This book was so beautiful and it is about so much more than a couple of gay high school boys trying to break a kissing record.  I mean jeeze…it nearly made me cry!

Book Blogging 2013 Banner

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

Hard one!  I love all the great blogs I came across.  At the top I think I would have to say Books for a Delicate Eternity.  Chiara is so nice and chatty, plus we have very similar tastes!  Also, Jenea at Books Live Forever is another top pick.  She is super sweet, too!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

Requiem is one of my favorites I did because I actually used an animated gif in it to accent my point.  I don’t often use them, not really sure why, maybe I should more often.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Hmm…perhaps the one about bookish pet peeves.  I love to know other people’s pet peeves and know I am justified in mine as well.  It is really interesting to see the ones that are pretty universal and the ones that are the complete opposite of the norm.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

This one is tough because it is hard for me to remember them over the past year (I have a horrid memory), but I really liked the post I read about blogger burnout.  I don’t really know what to do with myself when I feel that burnout coming on, and the post had really good tips about it.  It was also nice to know that other bloggers get to the burnout point as well, not just me, and they make it through just fine!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Definitely YALLFest in Charleston, SC.  Of course, it is also the only one I have been able to go to so far.  I would die if I could go to BEA!  For only a single day, YALLFest is really incredible and you meet all kinds of great authors and people.  My mom went with me to this past November’s and she was shocked when she saw how some of the authors were.  She didn’t realize they liked to drop the F-bomb!

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Getting my novel started with NaNoWriMo.  I started one last year, but, though I really liked it, I was beyond stoked with my new story and I began it this past NaNo and got pretty far into it.  I am still working on it and I have a great critique partner who gives great advice and tips, so maybe one day it will be my book I see up for review on the blogs 😀  I’ve always wanted to be a published writer, and I’m getting closer, bit by bit.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Actually, this is the same as last year.  It is my review of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.  I have no idea why this one is so insanely popular, but it has been viewed  over 1000 times, which is over 3 times the amount of my next highest post.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My dream cast for Cinder and Scarlet.  I had a lot of fun picking out the actors for it and I was hoping more people would comment on it and let me know if they agreed or who they would have chosen instead.  The Lunar Chronicles is super popular (for very good reason) and I was hoping to have more input from readers on my cast choices.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I think I would have to say digital downloads from my library website and being able to put them onto my cellphone to use bluetooth in my car to listen through the speakers.  No more need for CD audiobooks, no more losing my place by taking out a disc, no headphones unless I want to use them and always having the books with me where ever I go right in my pocket.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Nope.  I failed beautifully at my reading challenges this year.  Though I nearly made 2 of them.  I was only one away from my Off the Shelf challenge and my Genre Variety challenge.  I made last year’s challenges really easily, but this year I had soooo much going on and some big changes at home (my boyfriend and his son moved in), so it was a new big adjustment for me and I didn’t have quite as much time to focus on reading as I would have liked.

Looking Ahead Banner

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

I have to pick just one??  The Beautiful and the Cursed, the Divergent Trilogy, Angelfall and Dare You To are all at the top of the list.  No way to pick a single book.  There are so many that I wanted to read this past year!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Cress by Marissa Meyer, Infinite by Jodi Meadows and Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor are the ones I am most looking forward to.  I want all three of these immediately.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Alienated and Cruel Beauty are both debuts I am really looking forward too.  I have been getting into retellings lately and Alienated is one I have been seeing for months, so these are both on my debuts to read list!

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Dreams of Gods and Monsters and Infinite are both enders that I am really anticipating, but at the same time, I’ll be sad that it is over.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Now that I am adjusted to my new changes at home, I am hoping to make some new improvements on the blog and bring in my cousin as partner, which would also mean I could open up review requests again.  I’d also love to meet my reading goals for this year, haha.  Commenting more is something else I’d love to do.  It is sometimes hard because I work during peak commenting hours, but I am going to do better!

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Book Blast and Giveaway! Forsaken by Sophia Sharp

Forsaken Cover

Nora Colburn was perfectly content in life. A junior in high school, she had good friends, a great family, and did well in school.  Nothing particularly exciting ever happened where she lived, and everything was stable.
 
But that all drastically changes when a new student arrives at Nora’s school. Wild rumors swirl about his past, and Nora becomes determined to find out the truth.
 
As she gets to know the mysterious student, he shares with her an ancient secret… one that may yet put both of them in grave danger. 
 
And for the first time in her life, Nora is exposed to a completely unfamiliar world. She is swept away on an exhilarating journey that takes her to a place where romance and great destiny may yet await… and where supernatural powers run wild. 

Excerpt

Hunter cut off with a strangled sound, and in an instant, he was at the door. “They’re coming,” he hissed over his shoulder.

“What? Already? You said we’d have until nightfall!”

“I was wrong.” He shut the door quickly and rushed to the opposite wall. “You need to hide.” He pulled back a board to reveal a small cubby in the wall. “Quickly!”

Nora ran without arguing.

“Get in,” he told her, “and don’t make a sound.” Nora nodded. Her pulse raced, and a jolt of adrenaline kicked through her. A mixture of fear and dread came over her as she pushed herself into the wall. There wasn’t much space, and splinters and rough pieces of wood pierced her skin and got caught on her clothing. She wedged herself farther in.  Hunter replaced the board.

Light scattered in from cracks along the wall.  Nora pressed an eye to one of them. She could see the entire space between her and the entrance door. Hunter stood facing the door with his back to her. His feet were wide in a predatory stance.

Anxious minutes passed. Only Nora’s ragged breaths broke the silence, and they sounded as loud as hammers to her ears.

Slowly, the door started to move. Hunter tensed.

It creaked all the way open, and a tall figure stepped into the entrance. Nora’s breath caught. It was the same man from the dream, the same one she saw at the school.

“Where’s your friend?” the man asked Hunter crudely. He spoke with a harsh accent.

If it were possible, Hunter tensed even more. The man took a step forward. He wore the same long coat from before, the same dark hat. He and Hunter were approximately the same height. Leisurely, he started to take off his coat. Hunter still hadn’t moved.

The man dropped his coat in a pile at his side, and Nora saw that he was much thicker than Hunter. Bigger, more developed.

Stronger.

“Don’t try to hide her. I can smell her stench from here. I know she is with you.”

“You will not have her.” Hunter’s voice held a steely edge.

The man laughed. “Oh? Is that so?  And you think you’re going to stop me?” He laughed again. “You have broken the ancient creed by bringing her into our world. You will answer for your crime.  As will she.”

“You will not have her,” Hunter repeated, his voice filled with a deathly calm.

The man waved dismissively and took a step toward Hunter. “You cannot stop me,” he said. “And I don’t intend to take only her. You’ll be coming along, as well.”

“No,” Hunter growled.

“Oh, yes, I will take you both.” The man stood only a pace away from Hunter, now. “You cannot imagine what they will do to you. You will be bound in chains, locked away to never again see the dark of night or feel the cool rays of the moon. You will grow weak and feeble, forever barred from taking blood. You will never feed again.

“Your body will go first. Your muscles will wither to nothingness.  Your bones will crumble. You will become a shadow of what you once were. A shadow of what you could have been.
“But they will keep your mind sharp. Make no mistake, you will know you are suffering. An antidote will be administered, and it will stave off the madness that accompanies your deprivation. You will languish in misery, forever conscious of your mistake. That will be your sentence.  To suffer, until the end of time.”

The man took one last step, until he was nose-to-nose with Hunter. And he spoke just loudly enough for Nora to hear.  “But that pales in comparison to what they will do to her.”

Hunter snarled.

“Yes, her. Your precious human.” He spat the word. Then he raised his voice. “I know you are here, little one. Listen well to what I have to say.”

He returned his attention to Hunter. “She will suffer for your sin. A human mind and body is much weaker than that of our kind, and for that reason…she will be converted. And sentenced to suffer eternally alongside you.

“You know of the savage bloodlust that overtakes a new member of our race, do you not? Oh, but I think you do. You were once one of them, were you not? You were born a human.” Again, he spat the word. “A despicable thing. A despicable creature to risk so much for, wouldn’t you say?”

Hunter didn’t say a word, and the man continued. “I will give you one chance. One chance now, to repent. Give her up freely, and the punishment for your treason will be less severe. You will be bound for one century, before your freedom is returned.” He put a hand on Hunter’s shoulder. “You know you cannot win. Is she worth an eternity in hell?”

Nora caught a furtive movement at the door. The other hunter. “No!” she screamed. It was a trap.

On Nora’s cry, both newcomers looked in her direction. Hunter curled back from the man’s hand and smashed an elbow into his face. The thick man stumbled back.

Then he laughed cruelly and flung himself at Hunter.

GOODREADS              AMAZON         BARNES AND NOBLE

Author Bio

Sophia SharpI’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. I’ve been writing since the third grade, when a wonderful teacher asked everyone in class to write a fairy tale, and ended up picking mine as his favorite. He didn’t tell the other kids, of course – but confided it in my parents. He said I have a natural knack for writing (his exact words! and I remember them to this day), and should never stop. So, I’ve kept going..

I’ve mostly been keeping it to myself, though. I’ve never really thought about becoming an “author,” or a “writer” (quotations because those goals are still so far away!), so never had the need to share with anyone or publicize my stories. But, I’m just finishing up my second year in college, and have really started to think about careers and life goals and such other mysterious things. And while my friends were all busy trying to get internships for the summer this year, I just kept to myself with my writing hobby. I don’t have an interest in going out and working professionally in the “real world” — I want to keep writing forever, and I want to have time to do it. The only way I see myself having that time, though, is by becoming a published author.

So there you have it. That’s the abbreviated history of one Sophia Sharp. I’ve been working on a few young adult paranormal/fantasy novels for the past few months, and I’m putting them all up as soon as they’re done! Why young adult? Because it’s what I love to read. And why paranormal/fantasy? Because that genre gives the greatest opportunities for creating a magical, romantic, quixotic world that I can fall in love with.

How incredibly gorgeous is this cover??  I think this book sounds really great and I can’t wait to read it.  Supernatural powers?  Ancient secret?  Romance?  YES PLEASE!  Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win your own copy!  Also – it is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway!  If you’re not lucky enough to win a copy and still want one, it is only .99 cents to buy!  The second book in the saga will be out very soon in January, so there isn’t a long wait time for the next installment.  Good luck to everybody 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Desolate November

So, this past November was super busy of course and I hardly posted anything, but with NaNo, that is to be expected.   So now that we are out of November, my posts can start to pick back up again.

Though I didn’t make it to 50k words, I did get pretty far (for me) and I will keep working hard on my book.  I praise everybody who participates in NaNo and those who make it to the finish line really amaze me.  It is difficult to get to 50k when your a parent and work full time, but I did get a nice big start and made it over half way, so I am not disappointed that I didn’t make it to the end.

Sadly, being so busy between family, work and writing, I didn’t get ANY reading done.  I hate when I don’t get to read!  Since I lost an entire month of reading, I am not going to make all of my reading challenges either, but I knew in the beginning that it was going to be really hard since I have had so many changes going on this year.

A new change I am thinking about it the possibility of a partner.  I am wanting to get my reader cousin to help me out on the blog.  She is the only person I get to squeal over books with like I want to since she reads like I do.  She is excited about the prospect of it and so am I, so we will see how everything goes with that 🙂

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!  Mine was pretty good and laid back.  I love spending time with my family all together like that.  One of my cousins even made it back in time from Marine boot camp for the holiday.  Well, that is all for my November updating and posting (or lack thereof).  Oh, and one more thing before I forget, make sure you look tomorrow for my 600 Follower Giveaway!!  Y’all are awesome!

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Just One Year Read Along Week 1 & 2

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I loved Just One Day so much and now I am enjoying the read along for Just One Year with Brittany over at The Book Addict’s Guide!  This book is so good so far and I like seeing Willem’s POV on everything that happened.  I didn’t get to do week 1 questions on week 1, so here are both week 1 and 2 questions!

Week 1

1. We know from JUST ONE DAY how Allyson and Willem initially got permanently separated, but in JUST ONE YEAR, we get to see Willem’s story of this situation. Did this change how you initially felt in JUST ONE DAY? Did your opinions of Willem from JUST ONE DAY start changing by seeing his side of the story?

I knew that something was going to be up, that he didn’t just abandon her.  Initially, when he first disappeared, I was really mad at him, then we find out, it wasn’t his fault.  So going into Just One Year, I had already forgiven him and just wanted to know his feelings and how he dealt with the coming year.  I definitely liked seeing how panicked he was and wanted to get back to Allyson so much when he was stuck at the hospital, it showed he really cared.

2. A common theme in both JUST ONE DAY and JUST ONE YEAR is double happiness. Besides the Chinese symbols, what sort of significance do you think it holds for our two main characters? Do you think there’s a deeper meaning?

There’s so much to double happiness!  In a bunch of different ways.  Two people finding happiness, finding happiness in romance and in life, happiness in another and themselves, just so many ways that double happiness comes into play and so many meanings!

3. Along with Willem’s POV, we also get to get to see a bit more into Celine’s character. Did you feel any different about her reactions towards Willem? Towards Allyson?

No, I felt no different.  I don’t like her a whole lot because she really isn’t a nice person.  She is jealous and spiteful and I still feel that way.  Just because she doesn’t get Willem, that doesn’t give her an excuse to be rude to Allyson and send her over to crazy Ana Lucia’s to basically be nearly mauled.  I can understand her wanting to be mean or rude to Willem because of how he is with girls, but not Allyson.  I was really glad when he left Celine’s.

4. Willem’s life has been surrounded by and filled with “accidents”, even going back to the story of how his parents met. Do you think this affected his view on life? How he feels about meeting Allyson?

Oh of course!  He seems to be such a go where the wind blow you kind of person, and when accidents happen, they must mean something.  And when he ran into Allyson by accident, more than once, it was something that really stuck out to him.

5. All of the chances and accidents we see in this series brings up the idea of chance versus action & intention. Do you think Fate exists?

I do, to an extent.  I think everything happens for a reason, but also, we make also choices in our lives that lead up to those things that happen.  Life isn’t a sit in the backseat and let fate drive kind of thing,  you are the one driving and when fate brings you to a crazy fork, you are the one that decides which way to go!

Week 2

1. First off, how much did Willem’s time in Mexico KILL YOU? Have you ever had close run-in situations or actual run-in situations with someone you knew far away from home? 

I wanted to hit him upside his head soooo many times!  I was nearly screaming at the book “SHE’S RIGHT THERE!!”  He came so close so many times and it tore my nerves up.  I can’t say with certainty that I have had any close run-in situations that I can think of.  I did see somebody I work with when I went to Charleston, but that is in the same state, though on the other side of it, but never farther from home than that.

2. Kate told Willem, “Nothing happens without intention” and she also said, “This theory of yours — life is ruled by accident — isn’t that just one huge excuse for passivity?” Do you think she’s on to something there? 

Yeah, I do.  Instead of taking control and making choices, he lets the accidents take blame for things.  He doesn’t like break ups, either, so it is a good excuse when it comes to that kind of thing.  She opens his eyes to that, so hopefully now he will start to control his life and go for what he wants.

3. Marjolein said that Willem is like his mother after packing up his bags. He says that he’s not. Which do you think is more accurate knowing what we now know about his mom?

I’d say he is like his mom, they way he likes to leave, especially when things get hard.  I don’t think he really wants to see it and is denying it.  I know he is very angry at his mother and doesn’t want to feel like he is like her.

4. What do you think of Willem’s relationship with his mother? He feels like they’re not speaking the same language. Do you think that either one of them specifically are at fault?

I think it’s a little of both.  Both of them could make a better effort to be there for each other.  They are handling a very rough time, in similar ways I might add, and I feel bad that he is so angry with his mom and they don’t really talk right now.  I come from a very close family and couldn’t imagine being so mad at my mom.

5. We learned a lot about Willem’s history in this section of chapters and we see how rapidly Willem’s life has changed in just the past few years. Even though he’s pretty much an adult at this point, why do you think the absence of his parents hit him so hard?

His parents were always there for him, and they had a great impact on his life, especially because of the happy accidents.  But, then, now his dad is gone forever and his mother is in India, definitely no happy accident.  The death of a parent can devastate anybody, no matter how old you are.  And not only does he have to handle that, but then his mother sold their home and left for India, so I’m sure he feels abandoned on top of it all.

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Just One Day Read Along Week 4

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Well, this is the final week of questions for the read along!  I’ve had fun reading this with everybody and Jenna over at Jenna Does Books.  Next, Brittany is doing the read along for Just One Year over at The Book Addict’s Guide, and I am so excited to be reading the second part to this story!  If you didn’t get to see how much I loved this book, my review is here.  There was so much that was great for this book!  Now, on to the final questions.

1. Why do you think Allyson was able travel to Paris alone, even without the “protection” of the faux identity, “Lulu”, or Willem? What is the significance of this accomplishment?

I think that she learned a great deal about herself during the year in between Paris trips, and she also learned how to stand up for herself and do what it was she wanted to do and what she felt right to do.  She became more comfortable with herself and decided that she wasn’t going to keep herself hidden.  She started really coming out of her shell and I loved her transformation.

2. Did you ever fear throughout the trip that Allyson would revert to her earlier ways?

No, I can’t say that I did because I really believed in her change and I felt like  could also feel the transformation in her myself.  The author did a fantastic job with the changing journey for Allyson and she seemed more determined to find what she wanted and needed to find.  She really did so many things that the old Allyson never would have.

3. In what ways does Allyson’s second trip to Paris/Europe differ from her first?

So many ways!  She was there on her own, free to move about anyway she wanted to instead of being on a strict group tour, which she obviously didn’t enjoy the first time around.  Plus, she was different, which made the trip different.  She was more social with people and she learned French, so she could speak to others instead of being helpless due to a language barrier.  She actually enjoyed going from place to place and seeing the beauty of the countries, which was different from the first time since she said she didn’t like to travel.  The only time she enjoyed being out there, was when she was pretending to be Lulu and with Willem, but this time, it’s all solo and all really her.

4. Speculation: Who do you think the girl was with Willem? (Don’t spoil this if you have read Just One Year.)

I really haven’t a clue.  I don’t want it to be a girlfriend, but family would be kind of weird considering how familiar they were being.  I’m hoping maybe just a really good friend, but the way she reacted when he came out after the play…seemed a bit familiar for just a friend.

5. Final thoughts: What was going through your head when the door opened at the end of the book?

I got a cold chill and was probably gripping the book a bit tightly, and then…that was it.  I think I squealed a bit, then said “but, but, but,” sighed dramatically, then pouted since I was at the end.  I’m just so glad I didn’t have to wait an entire year before reading the next one.  I was also thinking, please don’t let that girl be there, because I would have been completely heartbroken for Allyson if she had been.  I really wanted him to just wrap her in a huge hug and kiss her.

I really, really loved this book and can now crack open Just One Year and keep my fingers crossed that it goes the way it has played out in my head as I waited!  Loved the book and loved the read along 🙂

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Need a Critique Partner?

So, with NaNoWriMo just around the corner, many people would love to find a critique partner.  I know I really do!  Enter the fabulous blog The Secret Life of Writers!  They are doing something called the S.L.O.W. Buddies Project, which is something to help you find a great partner by matching you up with someone compatible through an intro email you send them.  Based on what you tell them and how your personality seems, they will match you up with one of the others that have also emailed in 🙂  I think it is a fantastic idea and a good motivator!  So far, they have 25 people last I knew of, and they will send out pairings on the 18th of this month.  I already sent in my long email, so will you be joining me in the hunt for a great partner?  It will be great to have a partner to support and motivate me in NaNo this year!  Click the banner at the bottom for the original post and details if you are interested in the Project!

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Just One Day Read Along Week 3

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Week 3 answers are now here!  I am really enjoying this great read along with Jenna Does Books and can’t wait to read the last segment and see what happens!  Next month will be the read along for Just One Year over at The Book Addict’s Guide with Brittany and I am excited to be participating in it as well seeing how much I have loved Just One Day so far.  Just one more week of questions after this!  On to answers….

  1. What is your opinion? Do you think signing up for the Shakespeare class is progress for Allyson, or regression – since it may not necessarily help her to move on from “that one day”? I think that it could be progress.  A step toward coping and facing things that happened, even if it is not the coping mechanism she expected (she didn’t expect coping at all from this class I’m sure).  It was rough and bumpy, but I think it was a great help to her.  I didn’t see it as trying to relive what she had in that one day, especially since she was really wary of the class in the first place.  She avoided everything that made her think of him and never really tried to cope and heal, so I think it was good that she didn’t give up on the class from the start.
  2. Ah, Dee… Share your input on this unique character. How is he similar/dissimilar from Willem? I love Dee!  He is a really awesome character and friend.  He is similar to Willem in the fact that he is his own person and does whatever he wants, and of course there is the Shakespeare part.  Dee is very different with everybody he isn’t close too, having different identities depending on who he is talking to, including different accents depending on how the other person sees him.  Those close to him are the ones who get to see the real him.  Having known Willem for just the one I can’t say if he and Dee are the same in this aspect, but he seemed pretty real with Allyson.
  3. Why do you think it was easier for Allyson to make friends with Dee than it was for her to make friends with her roommates?  I think she saw some of herself in him that she never saw in her roommates.  He isn’t what he seems to be and Allyson isn’t either, which goes along quite well with the theme of their class.  She didn’t have to worry about who she was with Dee and wasn’t trying to be someone she wasn’t like the Happy College Student she tried to be for her parents and such.
  4. What do you think it was about Allyson’s class performance of Rosalind from As You Like It that caused Dee to approach Allyson and forgive her?I think he probably saw the truth in her performance and how much she was hurting.  With everything that he picked up on her over the time they were hanging out, I’m sure he figured out some of what she kept secret.  Knowing Allyson, I’m sure he would have known real pain versus performance pain.
  5. By beginning her search for Willem, in what ways did you see Allyson growing as an individual? What life-lessons was she acquiring?  She is doing more of what she actually wants to do and she is starting to stand up for herself.  She is taking control of her life and becoming happier by doing so.  She isn’t relying on other to make the decisions for her and she is becoming her own person, too.  She has also started to realize that others have hardships also, even if they don’t talk about them either.

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Just One Day Read Along Week 2

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Sorry this week’s questions are just a little late!  Things have been CRAZY BUSY and I didn’t get to read these chapters as quick as I would have liked.  Stop by over at Jenna Does Books, the host of this awesome read along to check out her answers and see what others have to say.

  1. Time seems to be a major topic in Just One Day, especially after we learn about the origin of Allyson’s watch, which was given to her by her parents. What do you think is the significance of Allyson’s watch? Does is represent who Allyson is as a person at this point in the story?I definitely don’t think it represents Allyson as a person.  The watch is very much not her and she wears it like a ball and chain.  To me, it is more of a reminder of how her parents want her to be and that GOING PLACES may only be referring to the places they want her to go instead of what she truly wants to do.  She has really great grades and she is really smart and could do whatever she wants, but she feels the need to do what her parents want and go places for them instead of herself.
  2. Do you think Allyson reacted too quickly when she woke up and Willem wasn’t there?If I was in that situation, I probably would have reacted much the same way.  Especially after waiting for so long and he still hadn’t returned and no signs that looked as if he was going to, but I probably still would have waited a bit longer, just in case.
  3. How would you have reacted if you woke up in a foreign country to find the person who brought you there suddenly gone?Pretty much the same way Allyson did.  She didn’t know where she was, had no money, couldn’t speak the language, so yeah, I would have had a massive melt down, too.  She was lucky she was able to contact Ms. Foley and get help that way, with my luck, there’s no telling how long I would be stuck!
  4. Everyone seems to know what they want for Allyson. Do you see any similarity in the way Allyson handles conflict with her parents and with Melanie?Everybody knows what they want for Allyson, except for Allyson.  She only worries about doing things that will make others happy and not what will make her happy, even if it means being miserable at school and with her best friend.  She makes all her choices depending on how she thinks other people would want her to choose instead of being true to herself and doing what she wants.  The way she handles conflict seems to be the same with everybody – anger, lashing out, attitude.  Everybody has been pushing her and instead of giving herself time to heal she just keeps trying to bury it and ignore it and do what others want and the anger of it all keeps boiling over.
  5. How do you feel about the direction Allyson’s life is going during her first few months in college? Do you find yourself sympathizing with her, or do you want to shake her in order to help her wake up?Sometimes I do want to shake her and tell her, it was just one day and she needs to get past it so she doesn’t ruin her education and hard work because of one day with one guy.  But at the same time I sympathize with her because having your heart broken, even if it was someone you knew for just the one day and thought you were gaining feelings for, it can still really hurt and drag you down.

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Dream Cast – Cinder and Scarlet

So as far as I know, there still isn’t any news about a Cinder movie that I can find aside from the little bit I caught talking about negotiations with a studio, but I REALLY REALLY hope they do decide to take on Cinder and make it absolutely amazing.  These are the people I would love to see in the movies 🙂  I love this series so so so much and movies would be a perfect addition to the obsession I already have.  I even reread Cinder before reading Scarlet, and rereading almost never happens, so the fact I read it again within a year really says something!

Phoebe TonkinPhoebe Tonkin Glamour

Cinder – Phoebe Tonkin

I have seen her in H2O and also The Vampire Diaraies and I really like her.  Apparently, she is also in The Secret Circle, but I don’t watch that one, so I didn’t know that until I was Googling for images.  She looks just how I picture Cinder to look in my head.  I love the shape of hereyes and the shade of her hair.  I put the second picture up for an example of her glamour, super gorgeous!

Allison Scagliotti

Scarlet – Allison Scagliotti

This was the easiest to choose by far.  I love Allison as Claudia in Warehouse 13 and she can be pretty fierce, and she has the personality of Scarlet.  Plus, she looks really good as a redhead!  I just had to use this picture for her since it has OUI on the front and Scarlet is French 🙂

Brigit Mendler

Cress – Brigit Mendler

For Cress, I wanted someone bubbly and bright, and Brigit definitely comes off this way in Good Luck Charlie.  Plus, she is already blonde!  We haven’t seen a lot of Cress yet in the first two books, but she will be the big part for the third book (obviously) and in the sneak peek I read of the first chapter, I think Brigit would be great.

Mukai Osamu

Prince Kai – Mukai Osamu

This one was a little bit harder to pick sine I found a few actors I thought could be a really good Kai, but honestly, he strikes me more as Kai in his looks and I love his hair.  He is Japanese instead of Chinese, but I still think he would be awesome and he has a nice voice 🙂

Mark Salling

Wolf – Mark Salling

He has the rugged darker features with bright eyes, and I could definitely see him with some wolfish fangs, plus he has the body type to have a muscular fighter’s body.

William Moseley

Carswell Thorne – William Moseley

This is Carswell Thorne EXACTLY in my head.  I don’t know how to explain why, but it is just it.

What do you guys think of these choices?  Any ideas who you may prefer?  I hope we get to hear more news soon for a Cinder movie!!

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